Lane Splitting Statistics That All Motorcyclists Should Know


Lane Splitting Statistics That All Motorcyclists Should Know

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney. Today, we will take a look at five important lane splitting statistics all motorcyclists should know before getting on their bikes in California.

Where is Lane Splitting Legal?

Lane splitting is the practice of a motorcycle rider splitting lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic. It is a legal practice in the state of California, the only state in the country that allows the practice by law. It is banned in 49 other states and the District of Columbia, that’s how dangerous a practice it is. The states that ban lane splitting do so explicitly in the letter of the law or it is covered under laws governing reckless driving.

Lane Splitting isn’t Too Popular in California

There was a study conducted back in 2013 that found lane splitting is more popular than many thought among Californians. The study found that 36.4 percent of motorcycle riders, those who ride daily, said they have performed lane splitting maneuvers. As you can see, with lane splitting being legal in California, it doesn’t turn the roads into a racetrack or an obstacle course with motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic.

Safer Than Riding in a Lane

Another study, also from 2013, found that it could be safer for a motorcyclist to split lanes than to ride in the lane. The study was conducted by the U.C. Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, also known as SafeTREC. It found that motorcycle riders in California who split lanes are 1.8 percent less likely to suffer a fatal injury. The study also found that the motorcycle riders are 2 percent less likely to be hit from behind, suffering traumatic injuries, if they split lanes.

Lane Splitting Saves Time

In what seems like an obvious piece of data, lane splitting has been found to save motorcyclists time. The Texas Traffic Institute conducted a study in 2015 that found the average commuter in urban settings spends at least 42 hours per year sitting in traffic. Lane splitting tends to cut the commute time for motorcyclists in half, which means if you lane split effectively, you could wind up saving yourself 21 hours of time each year.

Accident Rates Decrease with Safe Lane Splitting

If you ride a motorcycle in California and want to lane split, be sure you do it safely. If you perform lane splitting safely you will be able to reduce your chances of being involved in an accident. According to the previously mentioned SafeTREC study, fatality and accident rates dropped if the riders were traveling less than 50 MPH when lane splitting and when the differential in speed was 15 MPH or less. The authors of the study noted that if you are not traveling below these speeds when lane splitting you are putting yourself in more danger than riding in a lane.


Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney. Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another? If so, please call me for free, friendly, compassionate legal advice. I offer no-obligation consultations, so don’t hesitate to contact me at 916-921-6400 or toll-free at 800-404-5400.

I have proudly served the Sacramento and Greater California community for more than 35 years, helping injured motorcyclists and their families recover following tragic accidents. My cases have included wrongful death and personal injury. You are welcome to read through the testimonials written by my former clients on sites such as Yelp, Avvo, and Google Plus.

You are also invited to browse my prior cases by visiting my verdicts and settlements page.

I proudly call myself a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This is a national organization that recognizes trial lawyers who have secured settlements for clients that total $1 million and higher for clients.

Photo Credits:

  1. Photo 1: Wikimedia Commons, Gelbe Harey Davidson by Marco Verch. CC BY 2.0.
  2. Photo 2: Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney, Edward A Smith

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